tv Piers Morgan Tonight CNN February 17, 2013 3:00am-4:00am EST
>> tonight, harrowing stories from inside that disabled cruise ship. >> it was hard. it was scary. it was -- oh, my good. >> plus, the other big news this week -- fallen hero. the shocking story of oscar pistorius. did the paralympic superstar murder his covergirl girlfriend? his interview with piers that may surprise you.
this is "piers morgan tonight." good evening two stories of triumph of, tragedy, strength and character. celebrated athlete oscar pistorius is in police custody tonight. the double amputee track star turned national hero stands accused of a horrible crime, the gold-blooded murder of his girlfriend. we begin with the remarkable story of the more than 4,000 people aboard the cruise ship triumph of, stranded at days, adrift at say. martin savage takes us through the ultimate holiday nightmare. >> fun in the sun, that's the promise of the carnival triumph, and with lots to offer, a casino, disco, spa, swimming
pools, all you can eat, passengers expected plenty when departing galveston last thursday. on sunday morning, the moment of crisis. in a flash, a fire breaks out in one of the ship's two engine rooms. a passenger shoots this cell phone video. at first, the thousands aboard don't know the ship is crippled. adrift in the middle of the gulf of mexico. but by day's end, it's obvious this virtual floating city is almost completely powerless with nothing but back-up generators. passengers find themselves without hot water or working toilets, and eventually, without enough to eat. you can hear the desperation in the calls from the ship. >> it takes three and a half hours to get food. the smells -- i can't even describe them. there is sewage, raw sewage. pretty bad. you walk in the hallway, you have to cover your face. we don't have any masks for breathing. >> dead in the water, all anyone at sea or on land can do is wait.
>> actually, the first day i was able to get through to tim, i cried. and one of my friends who was with me got through to her husband, and we cried, too. partly out of fear and frustration because at that point, we still didn't know exactly what had happened and if it would happen again. we still were very in the dark. that was very scary times, and yes, people are starting to lose it a little bit. tempers are flaring. people are being very snippy. >> with no air conditioning, decks turned to tent camps. inside, mattresses line hallways. everywhere, the smell of sewage. >> oh, wow. >> mary's 12-year-old daughter is on that ship with her father. >> i cannot imagine that the horror that they have had to deal with, with no food, lines to go to the bathroom. seeing urine and feces in the hall, sleeping on the floor, nothing to eat. people fighting over food. >> by tuesday, with food supplies dwindling, cell phones
dying, and conditions worsening, carnival's president and ceo apologizes. >> let me assure you that no one here from carnival is happy about the conditions onboard the ship. and we obviously are very, very sorry about what is taking place. there is no question that conditions onboard the ship are very challenging. >> by thursday, passengers say the 1100 crew members onboard are the only thing that staves off mutiny, but as tugboats tug the 100,000 ton boat to land and helicopters however above, mary connects with her daughter. >> i want to tell my mom i love her so much, and i can't wait to see her. >> i love you too, baby. >> but the journey still has one more miserable surprise. as captured in this video, a tow line snaps. >> oh, my gosh. >> after another delay, finally, the last mile into mobile. for the passengers, the carnival
triumph nightmare is over. >> we were all together, and that was what was the most important. and just glad to be alive. >> sorry, carnival, for taking your bathrobe. i did not pay for this, but i figure they owed me. >> with me now is rachel, who because of a medical emergency, was evacuated from the ship days before it reached the shore. rachel, what happened that you needed to be rescued? >> well, i need a kidney, so i needed to do dialysis. and i do it like three times a week. and i had already missed one day on a saturday. and the doctor had said it was okay, but i was supposed to be here on monday. and then tuesday go to a dialysis, when i was supposed to go, but that's when, you know, the boat got caught on fire on sunday. so they had to get the coast guard --
>> yeah, how did you get off the main ship and to medical attention? what did they do? >> they got the coast guards and transferred me to another boat, another ship. sent me to cozumel to do dialysis on tuesday. >> how was it actually getting onto the tiny vessels? from the view, from the deck of the ship, those are teeny tiny boats. i know they're not when you're in them, but it can't be an easy transfer to get onto those boats. >> it was hard. it was scary. it was -- oh, my god. you know, it was scary the way they put me down. they put me in a rope, and the coast guard said don't worry about it, they would catch me. and you know, they were going to hold me back, and they did. then they transferred me to the bigger boat. and you know, it was good. it was easy to get off on the other boats.
>> your sister sophie was supposed to go with you, but as i understand it, that wasn't possible. why? >> yes, she was supposed to come also, but the water was too choppy. and it was too dangerous for her to cross over. they barely had enough time to take me across the ocean. >> so now i'm seeing the two of you, both in your life preservers. look, you're smiling in the picture, but i can't imagine you were smiling during this ordeal? >> we -- at that time, you know, we were just playing around or whatever. but we didn't know what we were getting into until we got to the door. but we were both supposed to -- we both had our life jackets on and everything so we could get on that boat. we didn't even know -- we thought it was going to be like a chartered bus. a chartered boat. we didn't know it was going to be one of those small ones.
and you know, it was scary, you know, but they tried to take her over and they couldn't. >> when you got to the sister ship of the triumph, and i believe it's called the legend, you were able to once again get from the itty-bitty boat to the larger ship and progress to shore and get treatment. how long did it take before you got your dialysis? >> um, i think they had said eight hours. they said eight hours, then i got to cozumel. they took me to go do my dialysis, then after that, they took me to the airport. and i arrived at 9:00 that evening. >> the compensation, while it may seem like a lot to some, others are complaining. given what you have been through, $500, a free flight home, a refund for your trip, and a credit for another cruise, does that cut it for you, or is that something that's just not going to really assuage the
concerns you have for what you have been through? >> um, to me, i'm fine with that. i'm fine with that. i'm not greedy or anything. i'm fine with that. the crew was good to us. you know, what happened to the ship wasn't the crew's fault or anything or whatever. but you know, i'll take what they give me. >> so what do you think about one of your fellow passengers suing carnival and saying that she suffered all sorts of damages from emotional to physical? >> well, you know, honestly, you know, in spite of what i went through, they were worse than i was. they -- they were the ones, because mine was just the beginning. it happened on sunday morning.
and yes, you know, i was suffering a little bit on monday, and then when i got to my dialysis and was home on tuesday, but they were the ones who were more, you know, in pain and suffering, you know. >> well you are an amazing lady. let me just say having gone through what you went through, being rescued from a ship, being put onto choppy waters by the coast guard and taking to emergency dialysis, only to suggest your fellow passengers had it worse than you, you're awesome. rachel, thanks for being with us. >> thank you. >> they say bad things come in threes. imagine this, stranded on a cruise ship for five days and then taken on a bus that breaks down. only to board a flight that's delayed by yet another power problem. unbelievable. joining me now for an exclusive interview is jacob combs who might be one of the unluckiest travelers you will ever meet. you have had what we like to call in the news business, a hell of a day. >> yeah, you know, it started out nice, sun shiny, thought it was going to work out well, but you know, with all of the problems that come with the ship, to add the plane problems
and the bus problems with it, too, seems pretty par for the course this week. >> what happened to the bus? you were supposed to go to new orleans. it doesn't seem like it was that far away. >> you know, it really wasn't that far away. you would think it probably would have worked out, but basically, we were driving down the road. we're thinking we're going to get in this warm bed. we're going to have a hot shower, a good meal. and he starts pulling over to the side of the road. rattling in the back. he gets out, and a belt's come loose. so we're there for about an hour before we can take off. and we don't get in until 5:00 a.m. you got to smile, you've got to laugh about it when those things come up. >> good for you for having that attitude. i think the majority of the problem licked right there. you get back on the bus, you're back in new orleans. the belt's back on, engine's running. you're on a plane now. and what? >> well, actually, they gave us a different bus, so we were on a
whole other one, and we had to wait for it. but we get on a flight that's supposed to leave at 8:30, and i'm on my phone and not paying attention, and i look down at my watch and it's 9:30, 9:45. an hour and 15 minutes pass from when we're supposed to leave. i couldn't find a stewardess, i didn't know what was going on. when we landed, one of my friends onboard said i can't believe it happened again. she was on the bus. she said it was an electrical problem and it caused the delay. a domino effect, ship wrecked, the bus breaks, and then the plane. >> we've been looking at the pictures you've been taking the last picture, we saw you outside the plane looking like you're having a lot of fun with it. were there some people who weren't quite as positive as you and were really angry after all this? >> you know, i think each person on the ship had a different experience, and that caused certain reactions. i mean, some people had more flooding. some people had more smoke.
some people had a really hard time. maybe they were elderly and couldn't get up the stairs. that justified some of their response. as i have said a couple times, you've got to find a way to be positive in that situation and look on the bright side or it's just going to become even more miserable for yourself and miserable for everyone around. i think that's the kind of policy i decided i was going to live with despite the horrible conditions. and there was lots of positives. the crew was amazing. they helped out hand and foot, all the time. there was nothing to complain about on that side. it's just there was too much to handle. >> so let me ask you this, one of your fellow cruisers named cassie terry, maybe doesn't feel as positive as you do, and she's launched a federal suit against carnival, and she's said that the conditions were horrifying. she was forced to wade through human waste, and she's now suing for physical and emotional harm, including anxiety, nervousness, and this part, the loss of enjoyment of life. do you back her? >> well, i would say i don't
know her personally, and if she really went through all that, that sounds like a horrible experience. i understand from just an empathetic standpoint, if i had to go through that, i would be in maybe some of the states she's in. i personally wouldn't file a lawsuit, but that's my decision. and i don't know her experience. i feel awful for her. i'm sure the crew feels awful for her. so hopefully it can get taken care of in a positive way and things can move on from there. >> you're in galveston now, and you live in irving, and that's not close. somehow you have to get between point a and point b. are you going to use a vehicle of some sort? >> well, i think i'm going to enjoy the sun a little bit right now. you can see it's beautiful out here. i'm going to kick back at the beach, take a deep breath, enjoy the land, and then i probably will have to get in my car and head north. i think my boss will probably want me to come back to work at some point. >> ah. >> i will have to endure another
vehicle. hopefully it just doesn't break down. >> there's always that buzz kill at the end of a vacation, even a bad vacation, that's going back to work. say hello to the people of dallas and irving for us. jacob, great to see you. >> thanks for having me on. >> when we come back, a birthday surprise goes bust. our exclusive with a group of women who thought they would be celebrating rather than struggling at sea. n ] ring. rin. progresso. your soups are so awesomely delicious my husband and i can't stop eating 'em! what's...that... on your head? can curlers! tomato basil, potato with bacon... we've got a lot of empty cans. [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
under the heading of it seemed like a good idea at the time, two husbands surprise their wives with cruise tickets to celebrate the 40th birthday, which now none of them is ever going to forget. i'm ashleigh banfield in for piers morgan. joining me for an exclusive interview, birthday girl carey padilla, her mother, her close friend julie morgan and kerry's sister julie pringle all were onboard the carnival triumph of. we can all laugh about this now and say it was the cruise from hell, et cetera, but i want to take you back to the moment where this began with a fire onboard and smoke in the hallways and the ship listing to the side. was there ever a moment when you truly did believe this was an extraordinary danger? >> we have said this before. in the beginning, we thought it
was very scary. then i would say within, i don't know, a half hour, an hour, we realized that our lives weren't in immediate danger anymore, and it was just going to be a matter of figuring out what we were going to do next. >> i think that's what a lot of people have said. they worried and then they didn't. i'm trying to figure out, how did it come to pass that you went from being terrified to being extremely frustrated for a number of days? >> well, i think the lack of information initially, they just kept saying it's a little fire. we don't know. we don't know. so after a point, you just relax because you don't know anything. and what can you do? you're essentially trapped, and you can't change your mind and get off. so you just had to go with the flow. >> i'm looking at some of the pictures and video that have come in to us since everybody has gotten back on dry land and been able to actually establish cell phone power and cell phone service. and you know, it did look kind of scary for a while there. you guys, this was a 40th birthday, big surprise, and all
four of you got together. two of your husbands doing this for you, but there were other passengers with little kids. you must have seen some of that and the way some of those little kids weren't certain they were okay. what was it like? >> the kids had fun. they were running around on the ship. the crew did a lot to play with the kids and have events for them. i think the parents of the children are probably more stressed than the children themselves. >> i was thankful we didn't have our kids with us. >> i'll bet. >> but i had mine. >> this was a 40th birthday for you. i have a little experience in the celebrations of 40th birthdays, and normally, it involves an open bar. but this ship was not really serving a lot of booze. at one point, they did, though, right? characterize for me why some people were upset that the booze started to flow, and other people thought there should have been more? >> i don't think that there should have been more. >> no.
>> again, we know how to handle ourselves, but there's always that group of people that don't, much like the food situation, they take too much. they drink too much and were acting the fool. and you know, we each had one and were done. i think they being the crew intended it to be a nice gesture, and for those of us with sense, it was taken that way. >> some of the pictures i saw of you before all of the disaster started looked like you were having a really good time. two of your husbands posed for a photograph with carnival's vice president, one of their vice presidents, terry thornton. what was this like? what did he say to you? it's great you had personal contact with him, but what was said? >> i think they were just talking to him, saying hello. they weren't mean to him. they weren't upset. my husband said they told him they knew carnival was doing everything they can for us and they weren't concerned. they wanted us to come back as soon as possible, and everything was okay. we weren't one of the ones going to come off the ship screaming, and our husbands knew that. >> i think they were trying to
tell them we were saying good things. the crew was phenomenal, they were. no fault of theirs at all. >> speaking of the people who run the show, the crew continues to be a theme that each and every passenger has lauded. all i hear is that these were the most incredible people to handle an emergency, and do you think that's why there are fewer people who are really angry getting off that ship? >> absolutely, because you knew you could always find someone. our steward on our floor, even though we didn't stay down there, we went down a few times every day, he was always there, helpful. we could look for him and find him at all times, which made it seem like he was never sleeping, even though we knew he got short breaks. even like our waiter in the dining room, we were supposed to be at during the fun part of the cruise, we found him during the day. so they were always there, helpful, and they answered what questions they could.
i know some people got frustrated they couldn't give information, but it wasn't that they were withholding it, they just didn't know. >> i don't know if you had a chance to see some of the coverage, but there were helicopters hovering over your ship as it was coming into port. looking at all of the banners hanging over the balcony, saying help us. some were funny and some were serious. did you have any idea how many people were watching as you were coming to the end of this ordeal? >> as we got service, we started to hear bits of it. >> our phones started blowing up. >> i don't think anyone expected it to be this much. >> are you surprised at the attention? >> a little bit. >> to us, it's still surreal. >> i imagine it must be a feel-good story, because although there were injuries onboard afterwards, it's good news that we all got home safe.
that's nice to hear every now and again. i imagine that's why it's getting the coverage it is. >> well, happy birthday, kerry padilla, and thank you to julie and connie and julie, and safe travels as you make it to your ultimate destination. coming up, self-proclaimed divas whose dream cruise turned into a nightmare. and another story of triumph to tragedy. blade runner oscar pistorius and his remarkable fall from grace.
welcome back to a special "piers morgan tonight." triumph and tragedy onboard the nightmare cruise. i'm ashleigh banfield in for piers. joining me now for an exclusive interview, family members who boarded the triumph for what they called the 2013 divas cruise. let's bring in maria morales and janie frias. it's great to see you. all in one piece and looking very much like the divas i believe you believe you are. welcome back to dry land. >> yes, ma'am. thank you, thank you. >> maria, let me start with you. while so many people have said the conditions were so terrible onboard, and the photographs have proven it, you still seemed to get through this cruise with smiles on your faces and the party atmosphere really didn't go away much, did it? >> well, you know, we decided that's what we were going to do. you know, we were going to stay
focused on what we got on the ship to do, is, you know, have fun. yes, there was quite a scare there, but we just had to do the best. we just had to, you know, get the best out of it. there was a lot of stuff, you know, we just didn't see it, i guess. as much as other people experienced it, but we really didn't experience that part of it, you know, so in our case, you know, i mean, we were just there, trying to have a good time, trying to stay positive. and tried to not get contaminated by the negative that was surrounding us. and most of all, to try to stay upbeat for the others that were around us. because i think that's where we kind of -- kind of got our strength from, each other, but also from the people around us because when we were loud, when
we were having a good time, they were having a good time. you know, they appreciated it. they would come back and tell us they thanked us for being that way because it was making them not feel the stress of the situation. >> speaking of what you said before, being contaminated, with the conditions the way they were, people were speculating that passengers would just leave all of their baggage and all of their belongings back on the ship, but it looks like you escaped with your diva hats and even the rhinestone diva t-shirts. you must have felt that at least you were okay in that regard and your belongings made it through this ordeal. >> i mean, like i said, we didn't have any problems in our room. the only bad thing was that the bathroom wasn't working. you know, but other than that, we didn't experience any other kind of problems. we didn't have no leakage. we didn't have no water, you know.
on the floor or anything. so everything for us was okay in our room. and i'm pretty sure in most of our floor, of course, you know, we had to sleep upstairs, so we really didn't get to spend much time on our floor. >> hey, janie, janie, the crew has been lauded by so many of your fellow passengers as just being terrific. and i heard a little rumor that they threw a mardi gras party for all of you, even after the emergency was under way. what was that like? >> you know what, that was very interesting. jen, the cruise director, always tried to keep things going, alive, trying to keep up everyone's spirits. so when they announced the mardi gras party they were having on deck, we had the perfect view. we were actually on the deejay stand there, so we had a whole view of the whole deck.
and everybody was enjoying it. >> hey, ladies, i know this was your 2013 first annual divas cruise. will there be a second annual divas cruise? >> i think there will be. maybe not anytime soon, but once we kind of process all of this and the main thing that we kind of brought out of it is that, you know, staying positive and having each other is, you know, was what kept us going. and it really did create that bond that we were looking -- we achieved the purpose of our trip. and most of all is our faith. we are all women of faith, and i think that was the main thing that kept us, you know, going. is that faith that we knew that somebody higher was taking care of us. >> thank you, divas.
on going campaign against shiite muslims in a region which is overwhelmingly sunni. across russia, it's clean-up day. about 4,000 structures were damaged by shock waves. watch and listen. more than 1,000 people were hurt. many by flying glass. a man has been suspended from his job for allegedly injuring a toddler. he allegedly smacked the 2-year-old during a. he was sitting next to the mother and the boy when the child began to cry. he said the n-word and slapped the child. jesse jackson jr. has been
charged with misusing $750,000 in campaign funds. jackson allegedly bought personal items including michael jackson memorabilia fur coats, a rolex watch. the formal charges came days after jackson signed a plea deal with prosecutors. the judge will decide if he'll serve any prison time. those are your headlines this hour. i'm don lemon, keeping your informed.
news around the world. it is that of oscar pistorius, the paralympic star accused in the valentine's day murder of his girlfriend. pistorius sat down with piers last year for a candid and surprising one-on-one interview. we're going to bring it to you in just a moment. first, the case against a man who became known as the blade runner. oscar pistorius stands in the packed courtroom openly weeping as he faces the shocking charge. a national hero in south africa, the olympic athlete known as the blade runner is accused of murdering his girlfriend on valentine's day. prosecutors call it a case of premeditated murder. the allegations are chilling. authorities say pistorius shot to death model reeva steenkamp inside his estate. her last tweet on the 13th of february said, what do you have up your sleeve for your love tomorrow?
police say steenkamp was shot four times. the killing took place behind the walls of this gated community in pretoria, south africa. inside pistorius' home. oscar pistorius, a double amputee, invited cnn's robyn curnow into the house a few years ago and showed her his prosthetic legs. >> i was missing the fibula, which was the back bone in your leg. >> later, pictures of him as a child, always adventurous, daring. these show him water skiing, scuba diving, and quad driving with prosthetics. it was somewhere in this home that pistorius allegedly fired a pistol, killing steenkamp. bullets hit her in her head and arm. her family is grief stricken. >> sheer loved people. she loved everybody. such a devastating shock that her whole life, what she could achieve, never came to
fulfillment, and i just say she's with the angels, and that's about all i can say to you folks. >> police say there were previous allegations of trouble in the home. his agent tells cnn pistorius rejects the murder accusations in the strongest terms. oscar pistorius isn't talking tonight. but last year, he did sit down with piers. and the conversation was revealing. as you'll see, very surprising. here's piers' interview with the athlete, now accused of murder. >> oscar pistorius is the one and only blade runner. a world champion sprinter, double amputee, a paralympian and olympian who continues to shatter records as we saw in london this summer. welcome. >> thank you very much. >> how does it feel to be an inspiration for literally people who are disabled the entire world over? >> i think it's a massive blessing. i have been very privileged to be given a talent and over the
last seven or eight years i have worked hard on working on it and making sure i can be the best athlete i can be, and obviously being an international sportsman is a lot of responsibility that comes with it. you have to remember there are kids who look up to you, is definitely something you have to keep at the back of your mind. >> what somebody said to me, the amazing thing you have done, oscar, for all those kids who have lost a leg, two legs, the amputation they have suffered. in the old days, they were so stigmatized, they were picked on at school, they feel different. what you have done is make it cool to be an amputee, which may not be your intention, but they all want to be like oscar now. >> i grew up in a family where a disability was never an issue. we really didn't speak about my disability, not because it was a topic that was taboo or we thought was a stereotype, but it was just never an issue. that's the mentality i have had.
so if i see a child and he's staring at my prosthetic legs, often, the parent turns the kid away. with that, the child thinks this is something we don't talk about and they develop a mentality of kind of shying away from disability and not being educated about it. and i think that's what created the difficulty in society, so i'll go up to the kid and say, look, my name is oscar and i have these cool prosthetic legs, i tell an interesting story like the shark bit them off. if the mother is good looking i'll tell them it's because i didn't eat my vegetables, get brownie points. but ultimately, i tell them i don't have legs and i live a very normal life. i think that gives them the base they need, next time they see somebody in a wheelchair or with a disability, they're educated about the person's position, and it's not as difficult as i think many of the older generations grow up with.
>> you were born without the fibula bone in either leg, so around your first anniversary, your first year, you had a double amputation. as you say, your family just basically ignored it. you started playing sport and everything from an early age, which is crucial to the development, and i guess the confidence you would have when you're young. what is that moment when a man with no legs decides, i know what i'm going to do? i'm going to be a sprinter. the reason i ask you, i interviewed the armless archer from the american paralympian team. who was incredible as well. watching him do his stuff in here is like watching you run. of all the things to choose, why that? >> i actually met him at the paralympics and i watched your insert with him, and i had a long chat with him. you know, sports have always been a big part of my life. we grew up in south africa where most kids really enjoy the outdoors. i was never much of an academic at school, so i had to find something where -- which i
enjoyed. and i started sports, and from a very young age, my mother said sports are not about being the best but about giving your best. you might make the second or third team, but losing isn't the person that doesn't get involved. losing isn't the one that gets involved and comes in last. it's the person who doesn't get involved in the first place. for us, that was very important. there are a lot of athletes at the paralympics who have certain amounts of disabilities, and when you initially approach them, you would think they wouldn't be able to do a lot of the things they can. but after watching this sport, you forget about their disability and you are just blown away by their sheer determination and the hard core element of the sports. it's inspirational, some of the most phenomenal sport i have ever witnessed. >> we know you predominantly as a paralympian and you have been a hero in that for a long time, but the great moment i would imagine for you, and correct me if i'm wrong, would be the first time you appeared at the olympics this summer as the
first guy ever with no legs to take part. >> that was a blessing for me. i really enjoyed the olympic experience. since i started running in 2004, most of my races have been, you know, races against able-bodied athletes. we just have a lot more races every season. in 2007, i started running internationally in a circuit, and i missed the olympics by less than a quarter second. that was the year i really looked at things and said if i get this opportunity again, i definitely don't want to miss it. i worked really hard since '08 and managed to qualify last year for this year's games. >> when you walked out at the olympic stadium in london, describe that moment, the first time. >> that was definitely for me one of the most special moments of the summer. you know, the olympics, i had four races, the paralympics had seven races, the first time being out there in the stadium was special. it wasn't the race necessarily.
i came out and saw my grandmother. she was 89 years old and she had flown all the way from south africa with her pacemaker and all, and she was sitting there with my family. i hadn't seen them in months. >> what did she say to you? >> she was just crying. she had a little flag. she was just supper huffed. just to see them, i knew everything was going to be amazing, and i gave them my best, and i an my second fastest race ever that day in the 400 meter, so that was very special, just knowing all the hard work, not only for myself, but i have a great team behind me. great coaches and professional staff. so all our work over the last four or five years had paid off, and seeing my grandmother and my family there really made it worthwhile. up next, more of piers' revealing interview with oscar pistorius and his ambitious plans for the olympics in rio, which are now, of course, on wait...you relieve nasal congestion? sure don't you?
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you'll find it exclusively at a sleep number store. sleep number. comfort...individualized. oscar pistorius is facing a possible life sentence if convicted of murdering his girlfriend. but the blade runner insists that he is nentd. he talked to piers last year about his life from his childhood to his future. here's more of piers' interview. >> i spoke to michael johnson in
london. and he wasn't overly impressed with you. >> in order to be totally on the objective about the situation, which is all about at the end of the day -- it's not about oscar, it's about fair competition. and when you're talking about fair competition, you have to take personalities and people out of it and just look at the rules. and if an athlete gets an advantage over another athlete, it's unfair. >> i pointed out to him, look, mate, the guy has no legs. but when you see a great guy like him, a tremendous athlete, does he have a point? do you understand that argument? >> i'm actually really good friends with michael. and i've had many long discussions. he's definitely one of the guys i look up to. and i understand his points. i've sent him the case study that i was involved in. i understand his point exactly. he's saying that there needs to be fairness in sports and i
agree with that. i've always been a very big kind of advocate for fair play. when it comes to the prosthetic legs that i use, they've been made since 1996 and they've made over 30,000 pairs. and just from a practical point of view, there have been never been any amputee athletes that have come close to running the times i've run them. i made myself available for testing through some of the sciences at m.i.t. back in 2008 and we took it to the courts of arbitration for sports. and the courts of arbitration for sports' ruling process is what michael is talking about. i understand where he's coming from. they ruled in my favor and we proved the tests done were sufficient and the outcome was the tiptop of tests they did and equates to the outcome of their tests. >> basically you're in the right
and he's in the wrong? that's the long portion -- no, you seem such a lovely guy, you're polite, charming. you're the poster boy now for running around the world. and yet there was a little moment, a little flash in the paralympics when you lost in the 400 to this brazilian wonder guy. >> it was the 200. >> and he had longer blades than you. and afterwards in the interview, you went absolutely tom-toe saying the same thing about him that michael johnson said about you. >> i agree. it wasn't maybe the right time. i think i'm still learning and i'm surely to learn more lessons throughout my life. we all make mistakes. >> what do you think now about that debate? clearly it's not going to go away. you've had time to calm down and reflect on it. what do you think? >> it's definitely a debate that needed to be brought up.
i had done so. it's been taken up now by the national paralympic committee. there was a regulation that allowed the double amputees to make their legs exceptionally longer. i didn't do it. and it wasn't the right time to take it up. even now, i've given it off to my national paralympic committee to deal with. i think he is a tremendous athlete. and i think -- it was the first 200 meter race i ever lost in a paralympic -- >> you were pissed off. >> one of those days. hopefully i won't have another one of those. but ultimately i think we all have them in life. >> my sons were on your side. they loved the passion. you're their hero. it's been a great pleasure to meet you. best of luck. are you going to run in rio? >> that's the plan. improve every year. even on the noncompetition and paralympic years. i have a phenomenal team behind me. >> we'll be right back. i found a powerf new way to cut out arthritis pain.